Orange Groves Blossom along the Nile

An Expert's View about Citrus Fruits in Egypt

Posted on: 30 Dec 2011

Despite a drop in production, Egypt will maintain its position as one of the world’s leading orange producers and exporters.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 12/15/2011 GAIN Report Number: Egypt Citrus Annual Orange Groves Blossom along the Nile Approved By: Jonathan P Gressel Prepared By: Mohamed Hamza and Julio Maldonado Report Highlights: Harvested area, production and exports of orange all increased in MY 2010/2011. Post forecasts a decline in harvested area, production and exports in MY 2011/2012 season. Harvested area and production will drop due to the spread of Aphid insects and a severe hot summer that started in June and ended in August 2011. Egyptian exporters indicate that Russia has recovered from a drought and will not import the same large quantities of oranges it imported during the 2010/2011 season. Executive Summary: Despite a drop in production, Egypt will maintain its position as one of the world’s leading orange producers and exporters. In MY 2011/2012, Post forecasts a decline in production due to aphid infestation and a hotter than normal summer. Exports will also be down somewhat due to lower supply while the Egyptian trade expects a decline in Russian demand due to better availability in producing areas closer to their market. Egypt remains the largest exporter to some of the major importing countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran. Egyptian orange exporters are now setting their sights on the markets in the East Asia. Commodities: Oranges, Fresh Production: Egypt is one of the world’s leading orange producers and exporters. Egyptian orange production is favored by high yields due to the availability of irrigation water (the Nile), suitable climactic conditions (good soil and year round sunshine leading to high yields and quality), low labor costs, an early harvest compared to other major producers in the region, and Egypt’s proximity to major importing countries. These unique characteristics make Egypt one of the world’s top ten orange producers and exporters. Egypt has different varieties of oranges that grow along the Delta Region and the Nile. The main varieties are: Baladi Orange: two varieties are grown, the Seeded Baladi Orange and the Seedless Baladi Orange both used mainly for juice. Valencia Orange: summer variety and mainly for juice but also table usage Blood Orange: very good taste, seedless variety and mainly for juice Navel Orange: two varieties, the early maturing Navel that is consumed domestically and the late maturing Navel that is exported. Khalily Orange: good variety for juice. Sweet Orange (Sukkari): Sweet variety and table orange with seeds. Compared to other citrus, especially mandarin and lime, oranges have the largest cultivated areas for all citrus. Orange production represents 30% of Egypt’s total fruit production and 65% of total citrus production. It grows nationwide in almost all governorates. However, the Delta governorates of Qalyoubia, Beheira, Sharqiya, Ismailia and Menufia are the main producing areas. The orange harvest usually lasts from four to five months. Of all the varieties mentioned, navel oranges are the predominant varietal. Navel oranges represent 60% of all orange production. Table (1): Harvested Period for Main Orange Varieties Variety Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Navel * * * * * * Baladi * * * * Sweet Orange (Sukkari) * * * * Valencia * * * * * * Blood Orange * * * Note: Navels start from mid- October, and Valencia’s start from mid-February Map of Egypt: Oranges grow between the red dots areas along the course of the Nile. Egypt produces high volumes of oranges every year; some 2,430,000 MT in 2010/2011. The processing volume is only 4% of the total supply, while domestic consumption for fresh oranges represents 63%, of the total supply with some 33% exported. The profit gained from exports is high. Industry estimates that the profit of one feddan is doubled when exported rather than sold in the local market and this encourages businesses to export fresh oranges rather than processing as juice. Recently the Egyptian market becomes a target for juice exporters, especially from the Arab region, but prices are still higher than the local produced juices. A major soft drink bottling company reported that it could not find enough quality local supply to produce orange juice and has to import frozen stock from Brazil. Orange production for the 2010/2011 season reached 2,430,000 MT compared to 2,401,000 MT for the previous season. Post expects orange production to be approximately 2,350,000 MT in 2011-2012 compared to 2,430,000 MT in 2010/2011. The decrease in production is due to expectations of lower harvested area or 97,696 hectares vs. 111,200 hectares in 2010/2011. The Aphid insect will negatively affect the harvested area although the area planted is almost the same as in 2010/2011. Area Planted Post expects that total area planted will almost be the same as the previous season (area planted in 2010/2011 was 131,121 hectares and expected to reach 131,136 hectares in 2011-2012 season). However, post expects that the area harvested in 2011-2012 season will decrease by 11% versus the previous season. Aphid insect will have a negative impact on the number of the bearing trees and consequently the area harvested will decrease. The severe summer that started June and ended August 2011 will have a negative impact on the number of the bearing trees and consequently on the total area harvested. Consumption: Due to its large production area and its very low prices as compared to other winter fruits, oranges are one of the favorite fruits for Egyptian consumers during the winter season. Egyptians consume large amounts of oranges during the winter months. Per capita consumption of oranges is estimated at about 33 kg per year. Some 63% of the orange crop is consumed domestically as fresh, while only 4% is consumed as juice. Fresh domestic consumption reached 1,350,000 MT during the 2010/2011 season. Post expects orange fresh domestic consumption at 1,365,000 MT for 2011-2012 season. Table (2): Local price for Oranges in the Egyptian Market during December 2011 (100 Egyptian Piaster = $0.17) Price in EG Equivalent price in USD Navel Orange 150-350 Egyptian Piaster/kilo 25-65 cents/kilo Local Orange 200-400 Egyptian Piaster/kilo 35-70 cents/kilo Sweet Orange 300-350 Egyptian Piaster/kilo 50-60 cents/kilo Valencia Orange 400-600 Egyptian Piaster/kilo 70 cents - 1 dollar/kilo Source: Egypt’s Ministry of Finance and surveying some markets. The orange market in Egypt often experiences price fluctuations. Orange prices might change as many as three times per day. Prices also differ per geographical area so that prices in the poor areas are very low versus prices in the high end residential areas. Lower prices are often found at the large wholesale markets outside of Cairo (such as El-Obour Wholesale Market and 6th of October Wholesale Market) the wholesale markets sell in bulk and at wholesale prices. Trade: Orange exports start in November and run through May. Egypt’s main export destinations are Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, and European Union. Competitors are Morocco and Spain; however Egypt enjoys a competitive advantage versus both countries as Egypt’s harvest season is 2 to 3 weeks earlier. Egyptian orange exports are handled by the private sector who also source from small farmers. Some of these large companies have their own export operations that buy oranges from farmers that conform to the demanding export requirements. Most of these companies are very technologically advanced and abide by ISO, HACCP, EUREPGAP and other standards required by importing countries. Expectations have been raised for a larger share of the EU market; especially since the FTA signed and ratified by Egypt’s legislative authority on June 2010. According to this new agreement, Egypt gained free market access for oranges into the EU market. However, the data shows that EU imports of fresh or dried oranges are still dominated by Spain, South Africa, Morocco and the US... The limitations for Egyptian orange exports to the EU are mainly the uneven quality of Egyptian oranges that force EU importers to import more of the baladi and summer varieties from Egypt to be processed as juice rather than importing other higher yield and price varieties. There were some fears of a drop in exports as a consequence of the political unrest in Egypt during and after the revolution of January 25th, 2011. However, contrary to expectations; exports increased significantly in MY 2010/2011, reaching one million MT. The increase in exports was due to high demand for Egyptian orange. Exports to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates significantly increased during the 2010/2011 season. Industry considers this season as one of the best ever for exports. Post expects orange exports at 900,000 MT for MY 2011/2012. The decrease in exports compared to the previous seasons is due to the lower production as consequence of the lower harvested areas. Also, Russia has recovered from the drought that hit the country in 2010. It is expected that Russian orange imports from Egypt will not reach the same quantities as last season. Source: USDA/FAS Production and exports are promoted and regulated by the Egyptian government: their goal is to increase production and make Egypt a world class exporter. Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis Capitata) is the main economic pest negatively affecting production and exports. The government is funding the “Fruit Fly Resistance Project” that aims to control the spread of this pest alongside other regulations that have been in place in order to control the quality of the exported fruit. Although the Egyptian government has succeeded in maximizing Egyptian citrus exports, complains are raised by some importing countries (Russia and Ukraine) that have found some shipments infected by fruit fly. As a mitigation measure to fruit fly, cold treatment is required by some importing countries. Egypt also has Peach Fruit Fly. Egypt and USDA have cooperated on Peach Fruit Fly cold treatment research. The government issued additional procedures to facilitate and control quality of exported oranges. The regulations limit the sorting, grading and the packaging of exported oranges to stations that have been inspected, approved and registered by the joint committee of the representatives of the Central Authority for Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) and the General Organization for Imports and Export Control (GOIEC) in coordination with the Agricultural Export Council (AEC). Some 55 to 60 stations all over Egypt are accredited for exports. The registration and accreditation of citrus exporting stations is unique to citrus. Agricultural exports are subsidized by the Government of Egypt. According to the GOE’s general budget for fiscal year 2011-2012, LE 2.5 billion (US$ 419 million) had been allocated to support all exports. Export subsidy allocations in the fiscal year 2010/2011 budget were L.E 4 billion or US$ 670 million. Such support is paid as a percentage of the total amount reported in the export bill of lading. Some agricultural sectors were receiving between 10 and 15% of the exported bill. These percentages are different from one export market to another. For instance, exports to Russia were getting higher percentage subsidies than exports to Arab markets as a way to maximize Egypt’s exports to Russia However recently the Egyptian government has decided to stop subsidizing orange exports to established markets such as the EU; instead, it continues to support exports to new markets. The GOE supports other citrus products such as mandarin and lime. Although exports of both are still low, the goal is to provide incentives to maximize Egypt’s exports of these products as well. In addition to this export subsidy, the government also supports the costs of shipping and transportation for exports that use the national airline company (Egypt Air Cargo). Recently, some exporters have demanded that the government stop subsidizing citrus exports since Egypt became one of the leading exporting countries of oranges in the world and there is no more need for subsidies. It is expected that the new regime in Egypt will respond positively to these demands especially given the tough financial situation the government is going through during the present political transition in Egypt. Source: GTA Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics: Table (3): Egypt: Production, Supply, and Distribution Data for Orange Oranges, 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012 Fresh Egypt Market Year Begin: Oct 2009 Market Year Begin: Oct 2010 Market Year Begin: Oct 2011 Old Post Old Post USD Old Post USDA O N USDA ew Post N A ew Post ost fficial Official O New Pffici al Area 150,00 150,00 131,92 152,00 152,00 131,12 153,00 131,13 HECTARE Planted 0 0 8 0 0 1 0 6 S Area 143,00 140,00 101,26 143,00 143,00 111,20 145,00 97,696 HECTARE Harvested S 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 Bearing 7,800 7,800 8,180 7,960 7,960 8,896 8,070 7,815 1000 Trees TREES Non- 6,250 6,224 7,515 6,250 6,250 8,340 6,234 7,327 1000 Bear TREES ing Trees Total No. 14,050 14,024 15,695 14,210 14,210 17,236 14,304 15,142 1000 Of Trees TREES Production 3,570 3,570 2,401 3,645 3,645 2,430 3,700 2,350 1000 MT Imports 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1000 MT Total 3,570 3,570 2,401 3,645 3,645 2,430 3,700 2,350 1000 MT Supply Exports 845 845 850 750 750 1,000 800 900 1000 MT Fresh Dom. 2,655 2,655 1,503 2,820 2,820 1,350 2,820 1,365 1000 MT Consumpti on For 70 70 48 75 75 80 80 85 1000 MT Processing Total 3,570 3,570 2,401 3,645 3,645 2,430 3,700 2,350 1000 MT Distributio n SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and office research. NOTE: Previous data reported by post was based on all citrus commodities which include oranges, mandarins, limes, lemons, and grapefruits. The revised data reflects data for orange only. Table (4): Egypt: Export Statistics for Orange Egypt Export Statistics Commodity: 080510, Oranges, Fresh Or Dried Year To Date: January – August 2009 2010 2011 Partner Country Unit USD Quantity USD Quantity USD Quantity World T 394,067,786 665,446 416,653,138 683,908 462,106,126 870,608 Russia T 61,215,909 108,084 76,062,465 120,364 104,460,462 187,633 Saudi Arabia T 82,236,239 136,127 83,973,774 136,582 81,826,976 159,136 Iran T 45,854,747 75,886 53,711,854 89,850 54,678,544 98,871 Ukraine T 38,263,970 66,651 37,013,739 59,014 40,132,238 73,399 United Arab Emirates T 20,287,633 35,989 21,768,109 35,961 28,538,397 60,234 United Kingdom T 22,737,944 39,118 25,216,189 52,361 16,977,836 41,142 Sudan T 12,906,175 24,019 15,604,765 28,597 14,968,960 31,017 Bangladesh T 3,175,376 5,365 4,940,024 7,393 14,413,372 20,626 Iraq T 519,051 778 6,974,156 10,546 13,823,105 28,389 Netherlands T 20,978,198 34,510 21,023,287 31,291 11,939,127 23,552 Kuwait T 14,379,905 21,828 11,637,498 18,897 10,244,781 21,205 Oman T 8,708,310 14,471 9,010,221 14,183 8,199,213 17,540 Lithuania T 7,292,680 11,578 4,789,049 6,618 6,337,711 9,395 Jordan T 3,607,918 5,967 3,077,887 4,939 5,320,723 10,553 Finland T 3,125,774 4,843 3,720,644 5,275 4,582,539 7,048 Qatar T 2,497,203 4,469 3,109,091 5,021 3,544,085 7,135 Source: GTA
Posted: 30 December 2011

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